May 30, 2019

GEORGE A. HAMMERTON

George A. Hammerton, LCDR, USN Retired, passed away peacefully to be with the love of his life, Eunie, on May 26 (less than a week shy of his 91st birthday) in Pompano Beach, Florida.

George was born on May 31, 1928 in New Haven Connecticut, to George and Edith Hammerton. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 in 1945, and proudly served through the enlisted and officer ranks for 26 years, before retiring as a Lieutenant Commander in 1972. When he enlisted, the one piece of advice that his father offered, when dropping him off with the recruiter, “Whatever you do, son, do not volunteer for the Submarine Force.” In early 1946, George did just that. He attended Basic Submarine School and began a long and illustrious career as a submariner.

Of the many notable achievements in his career, George always pointed to a letter he received as a Chief Petty Officer, assigning him to Admiral Hyman G. Rickover’s staff in Washington, D.C. Rickover directed the development of Naval Nuclear Propulsion and controlled every facet of its operations for nearly three decades.

Reluctant to move into to the D.C. area, Hammerton purchased a home in Falls Church, Virginia and joined a “car pool” with senior naval officers, each handpicked by Rickover and destined to become commanding officers of nuclear submarines. George often spoke fondly of this time in his career, commenting on the knowledge they imparted to him during their car rides into and out of Washington every day. It was during this tour of duty that George was commissioned and promoted to Ensign. However, it was the honor and privilege of serving on Rickover’s staff that George said was the crowning achievement of his naval career. Always quick with his wit, George credited his typing acumen to his homeroom teacher in junior high school for making him take typing for a semester, a skill that would serve him well on Rickover’s staff.

Following his retirement from the Navy on Jan. 1, 1972, George and Eunie relocated to Key West. George was employed (for a brief period) at the Pier House. He was also employed as the Assistant to the Executive Director of the Housing Authority, and served as the Director of Purchasing at Florida Keys Community College. It was during his naval career that George became affiliated with the Navy Key West Federal Credit Union. In 1978, he was elected to the Board of Directors and served as its treasurer until 1980, when he was chosen to be the manager. George retired as the credit union’s President and CEO in 1991 after more than 20 years of service. In “full” retirement, George continued his involvement with “Rotary” and “Old Coots,” and myriad of local events. He enjoyed spending time with his close friends at the “Hukilau.” In 2006, George and Eunie moved to John Knox Village in Pompano Beach, where he continued to be involved with Rotary.

George is preceded in death by his mother and father; the “love of his life,” Eunie; daughter, Barbara Hernandez; great grandson, Nicholas Bauer, and son-in-law and best friend, Frank Hernandez Sr. He is survived by his sister, Laura Taylor of Ocala, Florida; daughter, Sherry Roby of Texas; grandchildren, Franklin Hernandez Jr, Becky Hernandez-Bauer, Gary Hernandez and Jeffrey (Christine) Hernandez, all of Key West, Florida, and Michael (Neely) Tracy of Texas; great-grandchildren, Gary Hernandez Jr., Keith Hernandez, Michael Hernandez, Kevin Hernandez and Peter Bauer, all of Key West, Florida, and Sgt. Steven Hernandez of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as well as Jake, Noah and Lex Tracy of Texas, and nieces and nephews. Also left to cherish his memory is his main caregiver and beloved friend, Gladys Coleman.

The family would like to thank the staff at John Knox Village for all the love, support and care given to George over the years. Thank you to Dr. Walker and Dr. Katz for their care over the years. George always gave them all A-pluses and stars.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, at the Dean-Lopez Funeral Home, 418 Simonton St., Key West, Florida. Burial will be at the Southern Keys Cemetery in Big Coppitt Key, Florida. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to service time at 1 p.m. at the funeral home. Dean-Lopez Funeral Home is entrusted with all funeral arrangements.